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Information Bulletin - Winter Driving Dec-07

December 6, 2007

Motorists have to be prepared for winter driving

Edmonton…Preparing vehicles for Alberta’s unpredictable winter weather should be a priority for drivers throughout the province. At any time during the season motorists can be faced with the hazards associated with driving on snow and black ice or in freezing rain and poor visibility.

Winterizing a vehicle helps ensure it will start and run well
Get a complete tune-up to make sure the vehicle’s battery, brakes, ignition, alternator, cooling system, heater and rear defroster, oil, belts, hoses, radiator, exhaust system, windshield wipers and lights are checked and working properly. Make sure tires are in good condition and have adequate tread. Check and equalize the tire pressure as it will decrease in colder weather. Both under-inflation and over-inflation of tires can reduce their gripping action and the tire tread will not be able to meet the road surface as it is designed to do. Consider the following precautions to further prepare the vehicle for winter driving conditions.

  • Buy heavy-duty windshield wipers if living or driving in an area that receives heavier snowfall.

  • Place extra weight in the rear of the vehicle (for rear-wheel drive vehicles) to increase traction. Use care if the weight is unsecured since it can shift while moving or if the driver has to stop suddenly.

  • Use snow tires for the best traction. Snow tires are made of soft material and have a unique tread that provides better traction.

In case of an emergency
Ensure there is an emergency road kit in the vehicle that includes:

  • basic tools (screwdriver, wrench, etc.)

  • blankets, extra clothing and footwear

  • booster cables

  • candle in a deep tin and matches

  • coins for the telephone

  • non-perishable food supplies
  • first aid kit

  • flashlight with extra batteries

  • flares or a reflective triangle

  • gas-line antifreeze

  • ice scraper and snow brush

  • inflated spare tire and jack

  • road map

  • sand, road salt or kitty litter

  • shovel

  • tire chains

  • tow chain or rope

  • water container

Cell phone owners should make sure the batteries are fully charged and always carry it with them when travelling. However, find a safe place to stop before making or answering a call. 

Improving traffic safety is part of Premier Ed Stelmach’s plan to secure Alberta’s future by building communities, greening our growth and creating opportunity.

For more information about traffic safety, contact the Office of Traffic Safety at (780) 422-8839 or visit http://www.saferoads.com/.

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Media enquiries may be directed to:

Liz Owens
Office of Traffic Safety
Alberta Transportation


To call toll-free within Alberta dial 310-0000.